Qatar became the first country to qualify for the Round of 16 at the AFC stage after a Tajikistan win.
Ahead of their match against China today, Qatar’s head coach, Marquez Lopez, expressed the hope of having a perfect record in the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup 2023.
Speaking at a press conference, the Spaniard expects to land another victory from his side, which will be Qatar’s 10th consecutive win at the Asian Cup.
“We have great respect for the competition and for this Cup,” Lopez said at a pre-match press conference.
“We’re going to enter this game fully aware that we should win, but we have to note that we should also do what’s convenient for us, so we will use the right players.
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to amend the formation or use less effective players. We have a roster of 26 players, and they have a high level of performance,” he added.
Playing against all odds, Qatar has nailed the top spot in Group A after defeating Lebanon in their opening game 3-0 and Tajikistan in their second match 1-0.
Akram Afif has been the man of the match for both games, scoring three goals.
Meanwhile, Aleksandar Jankovic, the coach of China, is in a challenging position as they require a win to make it into the Round of 16 or will face elimination.
Jankovic addressed the match, stating, “We will be there to compete and play respectfully against our rival and to give the best image to the fans of their team.
“It’s a privilege before the last game of the group stage that everything depends on you. It’s a privilege for a sportsman that he can decide his own destiny, and that’s a clear message,” he told reporters on Sunday.